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The Florala News
Florala , Alabama
December 21, 2011     The Florala News
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December 21, 2011

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by Lisa Windham Country Folks Restau- rant has filed a civil lawsuit against the Florala Utilities Board citing negligence. The restaurant flooded in mid-July, during a 5" rain- fall event, the business lo- cated on Fifth Avenue was inundated with raw sewage. During an emergency meet- ing, the Florala Utilities Board agreed to pay X-Tra Clean to remove the car- peting in the business and clean up the sewage to pro- tect public safety. Expens- es incurred were around $36-38,000. During clean up of the res- taurant, Hughes said when workers were trying to find the source of the problem, it took them hours to break through the grease buildup inside the pipelines lead- ing from the restaurant. A smoke test was performed to determine if the problem was anything other than grease but nothing 'was found. The Utility Board subse- quently filed a claim with their insurance company Alabama Municipal Insur ance Corporation (AMIC). Following an extensive in- vestigation by insurance adjusters, the insurance claim relating to the Coun- try Folks Restaurant situa- tion was denied citing that the board was not at fault. At last week's meeting, Utilities Board Secretary Lynn Hughes said she re- cently met with the AMIC appointed attorney regard- ing the lawsuit. The attor- ney stated that the board had done everything right as far as he could tell and he didn't feel that the suit would get very far, accord- ing to Hughes. Tim Ramsden, CDG en- gineer was present at the meeting to readdress the is- sue of a flow metering study on strategic manholes loca- tions throughout the sewer system to determine col- lection capacity data and where overflow problems from stormwater might ex- ist. Rainfall runoff amounts can exceed up to 10 times the average daily intake at a sewer treatment facil- ity during a major rainfall event. Locating and attempt- ing to correct this problem is a major priority because it amounts to unnecessary wear and tear on the system as well as the financial costs to treat the runoff. Ramsden said some of the city sewer lines date back to 1949 and the lift stations are 30-35 years old, so he is certain there are areas which need to be addressed. The study would cost ap- . proximately $60,000. Board members said that due to unforeseen issues that have arisen, they did not see where it would be fi- nancially feasible to conduct the study at this time. Ramsden then suggested that the board look at apply- ing for State Revolving Fund (SRF) through Alabama De- partment of Environmental Management (ADEM) to fi- nance the project. The SRF program is es- sentally state bonds which are sold to applicants at a 1/2% lower interest rate than going to the bond mar- ket. This is a loan not a grant. But Ramsden said in recent years, principal for- giveness (25-30%) and green THE FLORALA NEWS - WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2011 PAGE 3 money (around 50%) has been included in the SRF. For example ff $100,000 is borrowed, only $70,000 or $50,000 has to be repaid, depending on the funding. However, ADEM does not yet know if these funds will be available for the upcom- ing year. The board can submit a pre-application for the SRF in hopes that some princi- pal forgiveness and :green money will be included in the program. Following the pre-application process if the aforesaid funding is not available, the board can withdraw their application with no cost or obligation, said Ramsden. Since there is no cost associated with the SRF pre-application, the board agreed for Ramsden to pro- ceed with the application process. In other business the board: Approved accounts pay- able Set the next board meeting for January 17 at 11 a.m. Florala Police Department ARREST REPORT ] The Florala Police Department made the following arrests for the week of December 13-19 as follows: Gerald Lee Henderson - DUI, 3rd Degree; Fleeing and Attempting To Allude; Obstructing Governmental Operations Residents of the City of Florala will be allowed to have access to the City's dumpsters at the City Yard, 1815 9th Street, from the hours of 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Thursdays only to discard small amounts of household items and yard debris. No hazardous materials or tires will be allowed to be discarded. If further information is required, contact City Hall. This Week's Recipe SOUTHERN PEACH FRIED PIES 3 c. fresh peach slices, may substitute frozen 1/2 c. sugar 2 tbsp. margarine 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg Cooking oil 'for shallow frying 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour 3/4 tsp. salt 1/2 c. lard or shortening 5 tbsp. cold water In a large saucepan, combine the sliced peaches, sugar, margarine, vanilla and nutmeg. Bring the peach mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, about 1 hour or till of jam consistency, stirring often. Cool one hour. Combine the flour and salt. With a pastry cutter, cut in lard till pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of the mixture; gently toss with fork. Push to side of bowl. Repeat till all is moistened. Form into ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut the dough into 5 inch circles. Place about 1 rounded tablespoon of the peach mixture on half of each circle. Fold circle in half; seal well with tines of fork. In skillet heat 1/4 inch cooking oil to 375 degrees. Fry peach pies for 3 to 4 minutes or till golden, turning pies once. Drain the fried pies on paper towels. Serve the pies warm or cool. m The Grand Jury of Coving- ton County filed the fllowing report of their deliberations during the December active session: PRESENTMENTS: 542 TRUE BILLS: 127 DISPOSED OF PRI- OR TO CONVENING OF GRAND JURY: 218 NO BILLS: 26 CONTINUED: 170 VOID'. 1 COVINGTON COUNTY COURTHOUSE: The Covington County Courthouse was inspected, and following recommenda- tions were made which are in addition to and/or pos- sible duplications of those recommended by the previ- ous Grand Jury: Continue scanning of documents to free up stor- age space. Installation of fire alarm system, including pull sta- tions is to be replaced next year. Continue to renovate foyer and side hallways with removal of wallpaper and repaint on all floors. Installation of fire alarm system and pull stations. Law Library Kitchen needs covers over electrical outlet. ing painting and new car- pet. Saw a need for preserv- ing vital records (example - index books) in the event of fire, water damage, etc. in the Probate Office. The basement needs more storage space. by the previous Grand Jury: Handicap signs have been installed as previously recommended and that proj- ect is completed. Handrails have been installed in the restrooms as previously recommended and that project is complet- Ashtray needs to be ed. moved away from building. Needs a 25 foot sign. Need more walk space for Grand Jurors when en- tering Courtroom. Need a soap dispenser in the restrooms for the ju- rors. Need hand sanitizers around stairs and front door entrance. Need hook or hooks on restroom door for jurors to hang purses, coats, etc. It is safe to say that al- most every area of the Courthouse needs some cosmetic updates including replacement and/or repair of wallpaper, touch up paint on trim work, etc. This is understandable due to the age of the building. COVINGTON COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION: The Covington County Board of Education was inspected, and the follow- ing recommendations were made which are in addition Most needed improve- to and/or possible duplica- ments are cosmetic, includ- tions of those recommended There } po belier time than Christmas [or sendin~ your way bee wkhes for the comin year ondjoy on O rk/mas Day./ /Harry Christmas & Happy New Year Men's restroom on the bottom floor is being made handicap accessible. Ladies' restroom on bot- tom floor is being converted to unisex. Handicap signs are very visible and informative on entrances needed for cer- tain offices. Building was very clean and organized. Building was very im- pressive. Other than the com- ments above, the grand jurors that inspected the Covington County Board of Education said they thought it was neat and clean and that in their opinion, every- thing looked perfectly fine. COVINGTON COUNTY JAIL: The Co' ington County Jail was inspected, and found that some of the rec- ommendations from previ- ous Grand Juries have not been completed: Some mold throughout the jail's work release area. In the kitchen, cooler doors are rusted. The latch- es on cooler dooi, s are rusted and broken. Nursing staff is only on call 12 hours a day. That needs to be 24 hours a day. No air conditioning in the area for the nursing staff. More corrections offi- cers are needed and the pay for all of these officers need to be raised. see JURY page 5 We take this happy time of year to wish you all thejoys oft he Holiday Season. Mayyour Holidays be merry and bri#ht! Merry Christmas and .Happy New Year/ iiyi;: .<:~